Iroquois Middle School
NOVEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Dear Iroquois Families:
The school year is in full swing, and students are actively involved in an engaging and enriching learning program here at Iroquois. I want to recognize and thank our incredibly talented teachers and staff who are working so hard to support our students—ensuring that all students have access to a rigorous curriculum as well as the social, emotional, and cognitive supports they need in order to be successful. In addition, I want to recognize our students who come to school every day ready to work hard and grow as learners.
In addition, over these last few weeks, teachers have begun to plan and implement a variety of interventions for students according to the Response to Intervention (RtI) framework. RtI is a school-wide, multi-tiered system of support in which we match targeted instruction with student strengths and needs. RtI is—at its core—a collaborative approach among teacher teams with the goal of helping all children grow and be successful throughout the year. This RtI process begins with high-quality instruction, feedback from teachers, and a set of universal-screening assessments. Teachers and students then set goals and monitor students’ progress toward those goals. Throughout the school year, children will engage in learning that is differentiated, aligned to individual strengths and needs and anchored in our state standards and district curricula.
Finally, I also want to communicate that parent-teacher conferences for Grades K-4 are scheduled for Friday, November 12. There will be no school for our 4th-grade students on that day. These conferences are designed to provide families with an opportunity to check in with teachers, review fall assessment data, look at student work, and collaborate in their support of successful outcomes for students. Your child’s teacher will communicate with you with more information regarding these conferences.
In closing, I want to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving this month. I look forward to working with you throughout the year to support and celebrate your children’s continued success.
Principal: Mr. Christian Zwahlen | email@example.com
Secretary: Ms. Gail Clune | firstname.lastname@example.org
Main office: 585-336-0804
Health Office: 585-336-3091
- Nurse: 585-336-0816
Transportation: 585-336-2992 | Transportation website
District Office: 585-342-5500 | District website: westirondequoit.org
- 11/05: 4th Grade Family Event - Movie Night
- 11/10: Picture Make-up Day
- 11/11: NO SCHOOL - Veterans' Day
- 11/12: Conference Day - NO SCHOOL 4th GRADE ONLY
- 11/24-26: NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving Recess
- 12/1 - 12/3: Book Fair
- 12/2: Book Fair Family Event - 6:00-8:00 PM
- 12/24-12/31: NO SCHOOL - Holiday Recess
For our full school calendar, click here.
WHAT WE ARE LEARNING IN ART CLASS!
MATH: WORKSHOPS EXCITE LEARNING
Elementary school math teachers have been working hard on implementing a strong workshop model that meets all our students’ needs. A math workshop lesson follows what initially seems like a simple class structure. Start with a mini lesson, followed by a work period and end with a lesson closure. The details of what happens during that time is what makes our approach unique. During the mini-lesson teachers engage students in conversations about math by using Math Talks and other techniques that help students uncover math concepts. But not just by talking at students for 15 minutes. Students could teach their peers, read math texts, or use models to make sense of new ideas. During the work period, students engage in activities that are mathematically purposeful. In other words, they are making sense of the mathematical concepts introduced during the mini-lesson. The teacher may set up stations where students lead discussions about how to solve a challenging problem. Others may practice using manipulatives or computer-based math games. A third group may also work directly with the teacher to get additional help, as needed. The small group instruction is particularly important because the teacher designs it to meet students where they are at, using each students strengths to build on their understanding of math.
Finally, the teacher performs a closing activity in which they check every student’s understanding of the lesson’s math goals. Before the lesson is done, the teacher has a clear picture of what their students know, and what they will need to work on next time.
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching students’ brains light up during workshops. The excitement in and energy in the classroom is truly palpable. Students are eager to show their teachers what they know and that they can persevere through any math problem.
Families can help by reinforcing mathematical ideas at home. For example, playing board games can help young learners get used to following algorithms and make sense of what numbers mean in real life. Especially if the game uses dice. Your child can help cook by following recipes with precise measurements or even keep a score sheet during a sports event. Math is all around so we encourage families to talk about math wherever they see it.